3 out of 4 stars
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David Ahearn, Frank Ford, David Wilk, and Tony Grant were four unemployed stand-up comedians a little more than 20 years ago. Together they took a leap of faith and founded Four Day Weekend, a comedy show that was supposed to run only for 6 weeks. Ahearn, Ford, and Wilk account in Happy Accidents: The Transformative Power of "YES, AND" at Work and in Life how they became successful beyond their wildest dreams. Four Day Weekend turned out to be the longest-running show in the Southwest. They received the Key to the City of Forth Worth, Texas. The have done over 5,700 shows around the world. They performed for President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush. They were part of the Armed Forces Entertainment Tour (AFE). They perform and do team-building workshops for hundreds of Fortune 500 companies. In addition, they are Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University.
Ahearn, Ford, and Wilk attribute Four Day Weekend's success to their positive philosophy of "Yes, And," which is a "real place where positive outcomes rule." There is no place for "No, but." The authors believe that people have the power to change their negative mindsets to positive ones. They also believe in the magic of "Happy Accidents," which are unexpected events that turn out to be amazing and "far more miraculous than you ever could have envisioned." They practice the Return on Improvisation (ROI), which is all about giving the customer the best experience possible. Lastly, they invite people to give back and do random acts of kindness.
Happy Accidents is an inspirational non-fiction book about the power of positive collaboration, authenticity, creativity, and persistence in business and life. What I liked the most about this book was the authors' bright and humorous outlook. They sincerely believe dreams manifest when people start saying "yes" to themselves and opportunities. They are advocates of rewarding team work in which every member is valued and heard. The authors argue: "Inclusion makes people work harder, and it fundamentally makes people more dedicated." I really enjoyed that the authors offer all of their advice with enthusiasm and wit. I also commend them for sharing with honesty when things did not go smoothly for Four Day Weekend.
Besides the great content of the book, I liked its structure. It has a detailed and organized table of contents, which makes it easy for the reader to find sections of the book. Each chapter includes an engaging exercise at the end. The exercise in chapter 7 was one of my favorites. The authors ask the reader to inspire and celebrate others because everyone is an expert at something different. Each chapter also has an intermission in which the authors offer thoughtful guidance. My favorite intermission was the one in chapter 2 because the authors call the reader to take on the dream he or she has been thinking about. The time for action is now. Even though I liked the overall structure of the book, I found that it has some typos and formatting issues that can be easily corrected.
I rate Happy Accidents by Ahearn, Ford, and Wilk 3 out of 4 stars because the authors offer excellent advice that can be applied at work and home. I deducted a star because the book needs a final and quick editorial revision. I recommend this book to owners and employees of small businesses and companies because they can benefit greatly from the authors' advice. In addition, it is a superb read for readers who enjoy inspiring stories of success.
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